With the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing sports betting in May 2018, America’s sports leagues have begun embracing the multimillion industry. Among them, the NBA has been the most progressive when it comes to betting. In fact, three months after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, the world’s greatest basketball league struck a deal. It makes MGM the NBA’s official gaming partner. Said partnership made the NBA the first American sports league to collaborate with a sportsbook operator. Unsurprisingly, NBA teams have embraced online gaming too. Some even offer a new feature directly connected with betting to their broadcasts.
The Washington Post details how the Wizards introduced Predict the Game in the 2018-2019 season on an experimental basis. With Predict the Game, selected broadcasts featured graphic overlays showing real-time stats and betting-related information. Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks followed suit. They are now offering the same gambling-centric flavor to their broadcasts. Such broadcasts offer the best of both worlds for sports fans who love to wager. It’s likely to become commonplace in many sports soon.
The NFL was a league that has traditionally pushed back on sports betting. It is now warming up to this new type of coverage. Like the NBA, the NFL has inked a deal with a casino partner, in this case Caesars Entertainment. The league has also allowed teams to have in-stadium betting lounges—a clear indication that the NFL is all-in on sports betting, too.
One NFL team, the Washington Redskins, has taken the cue from the NBA. They are now offering betting-centric coverage similar to those of the Wizards, 76ers, and Knicks. TuxSlots reports that the Washington Redskins were the first NFL franchise to offer gambling-focused broadcasts that allowed viewers to win prizes. Though only for preseason games, such broadcasts might eventually expand to the regular season. They can even make their way to the postseason should the Redskins start winning consistently. That, of course, will only happen if the team is able to address their pressing positional needs. Their needs are cornerback, offensive line, and wide receiver. Should the Redskins make the playoffs in the coming years, it is plausible that NBC will make a move. Since it owns the Redskins’ broadcast rights, it could start offering betting-focused coverage for those important games.
At the moment the number of NFL teams that have gambling-centric broadcasts is only one: the Redskins. This should be expected since the NFL, unlike the NBA, is threading unchartered territory. Therefore, the NFL is wisely proceeding with caution. After all, the NFL used to have draconian traditions barring analysts and play-by-play announcers from making betting references on-air. However, expect this list to expand soon in light of the massive popularity of both the NFL and sports betting. Besides, it has been only two years since the Supreme Court gave sports betting the thumbs up. Meaning, other states are still legalizing the industry.
Some of these states also happen to be home to the NFL’s biggest markets. These include Massachusetts, Minnesota, Arizona, and, of course, California. Once the industry is legalized all across the U.S., the likelihood that sports betting will take off even more is very high. This, in turn, will entice other NFL teams to follow the Redskins’ lead in offering betting-focused broadcasts. That’s because doing so will let them take full advantage of the lucrative world of sports betting.